The victorious Nigeria U-20 squad to Saturday’s 2017 Africa U-20 Cup of Nations qualifying match against Burundi in Bujumbura will return to the country on Monday, aboard an Ethiopian Airline flight from Addis Ababa.
Coach Emmanuel Amuneke led the Flying Eagles to a 1-0 win over the Young Swallows of Burundi in a second round, first leg qualifier at the Stade Prince Louis Rwagasore.
Kingsley Michael, Samuel Chukwueze and captain Kelechi Nwakali all came close to putting Nigeria in the lead in the first half, but failed.
Defensive midfielder Chukwudi Agor scored the match’s only goal in the 68th minute as the Flying Eagles, made up largely of last year’s FIFA U-17 World Cup champions, dominated in all aspects.
The second half belonged to the Flying Eagles. Nwakali and Chukwueze were impressive with some neat dribbles and runs and their efforts finally paid off as Chukwudi Agor capitalized on good work by the duo and sold a dummy before unleashing a grounder from the edge of the box that sailed into the opponents’ net for the only goal of the match. The scoreline stood that way at full time and gave the few Nigerians present at the stadium cause to celebrate. Flying Eagles Coach, Emmanuel Amuneke, admitted after the game that he was impressed with the performance of his boys and praised the host team for giving Nigeria a good test.
Accompanying official Sunday Okayi told thenff.com that the reigning African champions played against ‘grown men’ and had to rely on skill and technical superiority to keep the hosts in check.
The second leg match will take place at the UJ Esuene Stadium, Calabar on Saturday, 11thJune.